Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) has put 500 National Guard troops on standby leading up to the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. According to a press release from Evers office, the guard members are reporting for State Active Duty following an authorization by Evers.
“We continue to be in close contact with our partners at the local level to ensure the state provides support and resources to help keep the Kenosha community and greater area safe,” Evers said in a statement. “I urge folks who are otherwise not from the area to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there and encourage those who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to do so safely and peacefully.”
Major General Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said, “We stand ready to support our communities during times of need. In close coordination with the governor, we have assembled approximately 500 soldiers to help keep the Kenosha community safe, should a request from our local partners come in.”
The press release states, “Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will stage outside Kenosha in a standby status to respond if requested by local law enforcement agencies.” They go on to explain that Evers activated the number of guardsmen that he “deemed necessary.”
The closing arguments in the Rittenhouse trial are expected to take place on Monday, many media outlets have reported, following both the state and the defense resting their cases on Thursday. Rittenhouse is facing five felony charges: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, as well as two counts of reckless endangerment. He also has a sixth misdemeanor charge of possessing a gun as a minor.
Rittenhouse is standing trial for murder, after he shot and killed two men and injured a third during the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the police involved shooting of black man Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse and his defense team have argued that he acted in self-defense. Rittenhouse himself took the stand in his defense last week, retelling what occurred from his point of view.
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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tony Evers” by Governor Tony Evers.